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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 12:51 GMT
BA pilots halt Easter strike plan
British Airways planes
British Airways plans to fly to the US direct from other European cities
British Airways pilots will not take strike action over Easter, their union has said.

However, the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) said it was still in dispute over employment plans for a newly-formed transatlantic subsidiary.

BA has argued that it would be too costly to match existing conditions at the new venture, BA OpenSkies.

The unions have complained that the terms of employment are inferior to those offered existing workers.


Balpa, which represents 3,000 BA pilots, said that despite its concerns, it did not want to cause travel chaos over the Easter period.

"Our row is not with the travelling public who will have worked hard for their Easter break," said Balpa's general secretary Jim McAuslan.

He added: "Pilots have contributed to the success of BA for years. Now they are told their work is to be outsourced jeopardising jobs and careers.

"These are legitimate and reasonable concerns that the company has not been prepared to address."

BA said that it was "pleased that the threat of strike action has been lifted".

New routes

BA's new airline plans to offer daily flights to New York direct from Paris and Brussels from June 2008, with further routes to follow.

Balpa said the airline was not planning on using BA pilots at the new venture.

Pilots voted heavily in favour of taking industrial action for the first time in three decades, and the union said it would continue to fight the plans.

BA had threatened to take legal action against the pilots if they went on strike.

Talks between the two sides broke down at dispute resolution agency Acas on Monday.

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